Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 | 2:07 a.m.
The 10-member state Board of Education sets policy for the Nevada Education Department, which sets academic standards, oversees charter schools, licenses teachers and ensures the state’s 17 school districts receive equitable funding.
The board also acts as an advocate for the public school system, and that will be important because the Legislature is expected to be asked to make severe budget cuts next year. There are three races in Clark County for the state Board of Education.
Sharon Frederick is running for reelection in District 1, which encompasses the western Las Vegas Valley and northwest Clark County. Frederick has a good knowledge of the issues and offers sound ideas about how the board can address some of the issues facing education. She is the obvious choice. The Sun endorses Sharon Frederick.
Although a relative newcomer to Nevada, Doris Wallace Fletcher brings good experience to the race for the District 3 seat, which represents the northeastern Las Vegas Valley. She is a retired social worker who served a term on the Cucamonga School Board in California and in her three years here has quickly made herself familiar with the workings of Nevada and the state board. The Sun endorses Doris Wallace Fletcher.
Val Olsen and Chris Wallace are running for an open seat in District 7, which stretches along eastern Clark County from Boulder City to Mesquite. Olsen, who works in advertising for a Las Vegas Sun sister publication, the Boulder City News, served a term on the White Pine County School Board and was involved in a successful lobbying effort to build a new school. Having spent many years in rural Nevada, she understands the needs of all the state’s school districts. Wallace, a Clark County native, comes from a family of educators. As co-owner of a small business, he wants to see the schools better educate future workers.
Both are solid candidates who understand the issues, and voters in the district would be well served with either. The Sun endorses Val Olsen and Chris Wallace.